A few years back when I joined a multinational, I was very happy to have an international exposure. In India, the company had its fully own subsidiary and with about 30 odd staff in different functions. In early days of the financial year, we were called for the meeting, which was very usual as the marketing strategy was to be defined. Our Asia Pacific head had to attain that meeting. It was my first meeting with him.
In very first 10 Minutes we were told that company is not performing as per expectation, and next 20 minutes 25 employees were asked to submit resignation. This included the director and local HR as well.
In Just 30 minute their life got changed. The day was their last day in office and they were given two-month salary as compensation. However, I was among the lucky five, those were retained, but it was a very horrible experience for me. For the first time, I was witnessing the layoff. Sad face, anger and uncertain future.
No one wishes to be fired ever, employees usually put resignation before being fired. Before putting resignation, they need to find a job. But many times they aren’t that lucky to have an opportunity. The condition is very awkward when they are fired without any job in hand.
Reasons for Layoff
An individual employee may be fired mostly because of individual’s performance and behaviour. But when a group of employees is being fired or mass layoff is done then there are probably Four reasons.
- Company’s performance and profitability: It is most prominent reason for any layoff. Employees in a non-performing organisation are a burden. By reducing employees count, the company can increase profitability factor or decrease the losses. It may be possible that the layoff is caused because of global performance and not only dependent on the local business. So, before joining any organisation you must analyse the performance and profitability of the company.
- Market Slowdown: Even though the company is in good shape, if global slowdown happens, then in a cautious move, they can opt for layoff. This is a matter of luck. You can’t do much analysis, if it is bound to happen then it will happen.
- Start-up Risk: Chances of failure of Start-up are very high. Missing even one round of funding may cause the shutdown. Even after knowing the risk, you can’t ignore this sector which has employed lakhs of employees.
- Legal reasons: In some odd cases a company my stuck with some legal issues which may cause closing a certain operation. In the case, the company either absorb the employees in other division or go for lay off the employees.
What is next for the Employees?
For any reason, if the layoff is being done then employees should not get trapped with emotion. Yes, if it was an illegal step by any mean then an individual or group of employees should approach the Labour Department. But this will be a parallel fight.
After being laid off you need to have a new source of income. For a majority finding a new job is the best option and for a few being entrepreneur. Being a forced entrepreneur is tough and finding a new job is also not easy. So, stay calmed and focused to opt for a new way.
How to face job Interview?
If you chose to find a new job then you need to update resume on various job portals and seek the help of job consultants. They can provide you opportunities.
But what will you say about your previous job? It is observed that most of the candidates hide the real information and also the last day of work. They fake it in their resume and also in reason of leaving the previous job.
It is strongly recommended that you should not fake your resume and last working day. Even if you were fired alone or you were part of the mass layoff. It can easily be traced and will be very negative to you. Your resume must show the actual real thing.
In the interview, you will be asked for the reason for leaving the previous organisation. If you were part of mass layoff then you should mention the actual thing. Mass layoff never shows the fault of an individual employee but it is a reflection of company’s strategy and plans. You just need to be cautious while answering the question. The answer should not be long and try to divert the topic to the question “Why you want to join the new organisation?”
The situation is very critical when you were fired alone. It shows your weaknesses and negativity. If you are at a junior level then you can easily manage with the facts. As most of the companies ask to submit the resignation in place of issuing termination letter, so it is comparatively easy to justify. Don’t hide the fact, just tell it in your version which should not be pointed to any individual but a situation bound case.
For the senior level person, it is really tough as they are easily traceable. Don’t hide facts. Be straight and mention the reason as a mismatch of expectation (in terms of work freedom and strategy implementation) from both ends. Most importantly involve yourself in some active job which may be either advisory or consultancy.
Dos and Don’ts
- Stay calm
- Be patient
- Increase networking
- Be open
- Be involved in some work
- Seek parallel options
- Lower your expenses
- Don’t get involved in a long legal fight, let it be a parallel activity if it is must to do.
- Don’t beg for a job.
- Don’t sit idle at home
- Don’t panic and don’t sell your assets.